It’s happened. Lil Nas X, who came out as gay earlier this year, has broken the record for the longest running number 1 track in Billboard Hot 100 history. And what a journey it has been.
When “Old Town Road” first began to kick up some noise, it was because Billboard had decided to remove it from the country charts. That’s right, they took him off the charts. And that action, in part, inspired the news we have today.
As what many interpreted as a direct reaction to the exclusion, Lil Nas X teamed up with the one and only Billy Ray Cyrus for a remix of the hit, ostensibly to embolden the country credibility of the song. And for 17 weeks now, they’ve ridden on the highest of highs as they sailed past record after record. Of the 21 weeks the song has charted, for a history-making 17, it has been the number one slot on the Billboard Hot 100, and for that we must stan.
The news, released today, means that the song has beat out tracks like “Despacito” by Justin Bieber, Daddy Yankee, and Luis Fonsi, as well as Mariah Carey’s “One Sweet Day.” And it’s due, in part, no doubt to some careful maneuvering.
Nas X has dropped remix after remix of the hit and teased possible collaboration with celebrities like Dolly Parton. After coming out as gay, more than a few gays took the lyric “ride it like I can’t no more” as a mantra — to be fair, some of them had even before that. Even just last week, in what could be interpreted as a last push, he released a remix with the K-pop group BTS. And it seems to have paid off.
But this doesn’t have to be the end of the line fellas, let’s keep riding.